Thursday, July 16, 2009

What is chop salad, anyway?

Thursday: early summer vegetable chop salad; fresh fruit with warm vanilla pudding

I'm not really sure what makes a chop salad a chop salad, but that's what we call this simple crunchy salad. It's nothing but a bunch of the tastiest looking vegetables you can find, chopped into smallish, consistently-sized cubes and tossed with dressing. This week, we had some baby carrots (regular and yellow); two small red peppers; some baby fennel; and a little less than half a head of savoy cabbage. I meant to add a bit of dark green by throwing in some snap peas, but forgot entirely about them. It was tasty and beautifully colorful anyway.

We're in full-on fruit season here in the PNW, so we have an embarrassment of riches, fruit-wise. I chopped up some apricots and tossed them with blueberries for a colorful finish to the meal. Although I served this pudding warm (to me, there's nothing lovelier than a warm pudding), I suspect it's more normal to allow the pudding to cool first. The recipe is just the one on my box of corn starch.
Vanilla Pudding
serves 4

1/2 C sugar
1/4 C corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 C milk (I used a mix of 2% and skim)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, mix together sugar, corn starch, and salt. Gradually add in milk, beating until mixture is smooth. Add yolks. Heat over medium-high heat until slowly boiling, stirring constantly (this takes about 10 minutes). Boil for 1 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool a lot, or just a little, depending on your preferences.

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